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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Wed, 22 May 2019

'Giant Steps,' vocal by Camille Bertault with Nelson Faria on guitar

Camille Bertault sings the John Coltrane classic "Giant Steps," also scatting the original solo:

Tue, 11 Sep 2018

Tuck's Corner lives in the Wayback Machine

Whenever I listen to Tuck and Patti, I want to go to Tuck's Corner, where Tuck Andress talks about all of their gear.

But Tuck's Corner doesn't appear on the duo's current web site. It's not gone forever. It lives on the Wayback Machine.

Video: Tuck Andress plays 'Europa'

Tuck Andress sounds so great. His tone is unique and not at all what you expect from an archtop guitar, and like all great players, his time is amazing. More than anything, music is about time.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018

An intense 'My Favorite Things' from John Coltrane's late-period 'Live at the Village Vanguard Again!' album

John Coltrane's rendition of "My Favorite Things" from the 1961 album of the same name) is pretty much a gateway into Coltrane.

This isn't that version. Instead, here is the 1966 version from "Live at the Village Vanguard Again!", with a much different band in an equally different era for Coltrane. Basically, free jazz entered, and he embraced it.

Though I love the "classic" Coltrane quartet, this is a great band, and I'm really listening to Alice Coltrane's piano -- I like her approach to the tune. Aside from John Coltrane himself, bassist Jimmy Garrison is the only other holdover from that classic quartet, and the lines he plays are also very different from those of bassist Steve Davis on the recording made five years before. You can tell that Garrison had played the tune live with Coltrane probably hundreds of times.

I'm still absorbing this version, but it's notable that the band plays a full 3 minutes before John Coltrane plays the tune's melody.

For comparison's sake, here's the "classic" rendition of "My Favorite Things" from 1961:

Mon, 23 Apr 2018

Miles Davis - Miles in the Sky (1968)

Miles Davis - Miles In The Sky (1968) full album - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6eZHnIA__A

This is one of Miles Davis' early proto-fusion efforts, and the players are all legends (Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Herbie Hancock on electric piano, Ron Carter on bass, Tony Williams on drums).

"Miles in the Sky" is the kind of fusion record that really appeals to me right now. It's a "quiet" record anchored by electric piano, which is the same thing that draws me to Chick Corea's first Return to Forever album. It's more jazz than r&b, and not really rock at all, given the lack of electric bass and guitar.

What you really have in "Miles in the Sky," besides a slightly funky Miles who you can really hear with this instrumentation, is a showcase for the grooves of Hancock, Carter and Williams, and a showcase for Wayne Shorter.

Then on the second track, the Wayne Shorter composition "Paraphernalia," guitarist George Benson appears, yet the track has more of a traditional jazz vibe than the last, featuring an acoustic piano instead of the electric. Benson folows the stunning Shorter solo (which is quite long, in case you were wondering) with a literally shorter solo that sits firmly within the groove of the record, leading into Hancock on the piano with the rest of the group dropping out entirely as he works the form of the composition.

Miles always worked with the best players. He was never about raw technique and obviously wasn't intimidated by those who were the strongest players out there.